Interview with Marcel Guerrini

20. October 2023

In the wake of Nino Schurter and Mathias Flückiger, Marcel Guerrini is another Swiss rider to make it among the world elite. The 29-year-old impressed in the last three World Cup races with two third places and a fourth place!

Ranking 5th in the World Championship, you already showed huge potential last year. This year you made it on to the podium! Can you reflect on this season with us and give us an insight into your experiences and emotions?

Of course, getting 5th place last year gave me a lot of self-confidence. I knew that I was capable of great things. The 2023 season didn’t get off to the best start. I was ill at the start of the season, which cost me a few races. Nevertheless, I was able to end the first half of the season with 9th place in the European Championships and get a top-ten finish in the Short Track World Cup. After the summer break, I got a solid 16th place in the World Championships and 13th place at the World Cup in Andorra. Apart from these two races, I've made the podium at all World Cups and Swiss races.

The following three podiums at the World Cup really meant a lot to me and show that I can consistently ride at the top level.

Your road to the top wasn't easy and your career has also hung by a thread at times, for example when you didn’t have a team anymore or had knee problems. What are the 3 key factors for success in your opinion?

Perseverance, believing in yourself and the right environment.   

The more success you have, the greater the pressure and expectations. How do you deal with this? Do you have any tips for amateur athletes who also suffer from nerves before a competition?

Try and see pressure as a positive thing. Why do we feel pressure? Usually because we have achieved something and people expect us to repeat this. I try to turn pressure into positive energy and feel privileged to be in this position. (e.g. being the favourite to win a race)

Nerves are normal and part of things. In these situations, I always tell myself: you don’t need to be nervous. I'm perfectly prepared and don't need to fear the competition. Saying this out loud to yourself in front of a mirror can have a calming effect.

The season is almost over. What will your winter training look like and what tips do you have for amateur bikers?

Sure, I'll still be cycling but without any specific plan. However, it’s really important to give your body 10-14 days of rest so that it can recover. The body usually recovers faster than the mind, which is why I find it important to have or do something that doesn’t involve sport. This lets you clear your head and feel motivated again when the time comes.

I do lots of long ‘GA1’ training rides and a more intensive session once a week. I find it really important to consistently carry out the GA1 sessions. Amateur athletes are at high risk of going too fast in GA1 training sessions. Good core training is never a bad thing either.

Over winter, I'll head to 2 or 3 training camps down south. I definitely won’t have much of a calorie deficit over winter. There's no harm in building a few extra reserves during the colder months.

Do you have an insider tip with regards to training, equipment, nutrition and recovery?

Consistency. As the saying goes: keep chipping away at it. It’s a simple concept but very difficult to put into practice. Train consistently on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Of course, this also includes rest days but that doesn’t mean doing 30 hours over 2 weeks, then nothing for a week.

Keep it simple. Are you getting 8 hours’ sleep? Are you eating a balanced diet? Think about whether you're doing the basic things right before investing in expensive equipment, lighter materials, etc. These things make up the last few percent.

And, most importantly: keep it fun.

Foto: @andrinjanser & jcadosch